Trial by Fire, Chapter 8: Quarantine Zone

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 6.)

We meet up again with Emily and Ozzie, who are surrounded by armed midgets. The midgets think Emily’s a witch because she has a magic jewel that’s shining darkly. Obviously, they have no idea that Emily is suffering from Detect Evil and Detect Wounded Animals overload. Before the midgets could prove Emily’s a witch, though, Ozzie berates all the midgets for wearing elven war masks. It turns out that the midgets are a party of elves, led by Ozzie’s cousins Tonin and Crusp. Ain’t that convenient.

Elves in Avalon are weird. They’re all about four feet tall, have curly brown hair, and spend all their time farming. Take their shoes off, and I bet they have large hairy feet like hobbits.

Anyway, the elves tell the party that goblin riders have been seen around their village, and that one of the outlying farms was contaminated with Black Fire. Emily asks to be taken to the farm so she can assess the situation. Of course, on the way there she starts feeling all woozy and sick.

When the party finally reaches the farm, Emily finds a family of elves and some animals, all suffering from severe radiation poisoning. Emily decides to treat an elf child first, but finds it extremely difficult to cast Heal. Black Fire is apparently stronger on Aldenmor — or more concentrated, I guess, since it is where all the irradiated animals came from — so Emily isn’t accustomed to curing it.

But then Ozzie holds on to Emily, and suddenly Emily receives a vision of Phelonius (and, in the new edition, a field of sparkletastic puff flowers). Phel sends Emily magic somehow, enough to help her cast Heal and eventually cure all the irradiated elves and animals on the farm. Yay.

And in the process, Emily learned something important: “In healing others, she had healed herself”. Yes, Emily is no longer suffering from Detect Evil and Detect Wounded Animals overload, and her Rainbow Jewel isn’t glowing black anymore. And believe it or not, this proves to be useful later on in this book.

Quick question, though … why does Phel show up when Ozzie touches Emily? I guess that’s answered at the end of the series, but still….

After everyone on the farm is healed, the party learns that goblin riders are headed their way. I guess goblins can Detect Magic or something. So Emily and Ozzie, with the aid of some elves, head for a portal that will lead them to Mount Hope….

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Ozzie says “I’m right here” when he grabs on to Emily during her healing attempt.
  • Apparently the light Phel sends to Emily doesn’t help her “lead her home”.

Next time: Kara gets infodumped.

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One comment

  1. It takes until the end of the series for the Phel moment to be elaborated on? I wonder if Roberts was planning that far ahead or she realized she forgot to explain that and stuck it into the end.

    I heard that male elves tend to not be depicted with facial hair, but the ones here are described as having some thin goatees, and in the illustration we can see an elf with one. So a few points to Roberts for trying something a little different?

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